Spirit Sol 75

I'm off shift, which means I spend my time hacking on RoSE instead of doing the glamorous work.

We've traversed another 34.3m around the crater, which is a pretty good drive for this rocky terrain. They also scarred a drift as they drove by it -- driving along a drift such that the wheels on one side rode through it, periodically wiggling the wheels and correcting for yaw. They took pictures of the scar before moving on; this should make for some interesting science.

It's not clear how much farther we'll travel around the rim before heading for the hills. They're looking into what data we need to gather, via remote sensing, on the Columbia Hills before we have to pause exploring while they upload the new flight software.

It occurred to someone that autonav won't see a certain type of obstacle as a hazard: a tall, thin spike. Despite the fact that nobody has ever, ever observed such an object on Mars, we get an official directive not to plan autonav drives into an area unless we can rule out the existence of such a hazard. In most cases, if we could see that well into the area in question, we wouldn't rely on autonav; we'd use blind driving instead. The new directive is very stupid. I think Mark instigated the concern about it as a way to drive the project to install the updated flight software, which would detect Martian beanpoles as a hazard.

The best news of the day, I think, is that our big picture is back. I think somebody must have taken it to LPSC. In any case, Mars is outside my office door once again.

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